BERKELEY, Calif. – In a brazen move, CED junior Clarisa Flores has missed the first two weeks of classes after getting trapped in Wheeler’s elevator, which broke down mid-ride.
“I want to clarify that it wasn’t intentional,” Flores said. “I always map out my schedule the day before the semester starts to make sure everything is accessible. But as soon as I entered the elevator this time, it began the classic jerking and creaking that has haunted my nightmares and my therapy sessions since elementary school.” She continued, “Honestly, after the first few days, I started to get used to the dark, enclosed space, random lurches, and eerie murmurs of other students walking by. Anything beats haggling with professors over academic accommodations and navigating poorly-designed classrooms.”
Unfortunately, Flores’s reprieve is only temporary. According to architecture Professor Ina X. Esible, despite the unforeseen circumstances, Flores is still expected to turn in all of her assignments on time, plus notes and an essay reflection for each lecture she has missed.
“I don’t care that reception is poor inside the elevator — she should’ve thought of that before getting stuck there!” said Esible. “It’s my responsibility as an educator to demonstrate that nobody gets special treatment. If I cave, it’ll hurt the prestigious reputation of the department.”
According to university contractors, Flores will have to stay in the elevator until the issue is resolved in six to eight weeks.
“This elevator was installed in 1917 by Kelly & Woods. The worm gear that broke was discontinued in 1929 when it shut down, so we’re still trying to figure out whether it’s possible to fix at all,” explained elevator technician Marcella Post. “Normally, we just ignore these issues until they go away on their own or someone gets stuck — but don’t worry! We’ll get Clarisa out within the arbitrary timeline we’ve provided. Hopefully.”
At press time, Flores was struggling to read the low-contrast slides from Professor Esible’s lectures and take notes without her adaptive devices.